Online STEP 2021 Event Conducted Successfully by Engineering Department

In continuation with  STEP 2015, STEP 2017 and STEP 2019, this year’s prestigious STEP 2021 event was conducted on Thursday, 11th November 2021. The event was conducted online via MS Teams by the Engineering Department.  The theme of this season was ‘Engineering Education – Learnings from COVID Era’.Dr. Ahmed Mohammed Al Mamari,  Dean of UTAS Shinas, welcomed the panelists and attendees to the event.  Following the welcome note, a presentation was given by Dr. Ahmed Abdallah Al Balushi, Head of Engineering Department. Dr. Ahmed Al Balushi introduced the agenda and background of the STEP 2021 event.

Prof. Dr. Khalifa Al Jabri, from SQU led the panel discussion on the topic of “Embedding Graduate Attributes During COVID Times”. Prof. Dr. Rajamohan Natarajan, Acting Dean, Engineering Department of Sohar University, Prof. Dr. Abdulnasir Hossen from SQU and Engineer Hilal Salim Al Abbadi, Head of Training Department of Sohar Aluminium took part in the panel discussion. The session was moderated by Ms. Noura Al Balushi, Head of Quality Assurance Department, UTAS-Shinas. The panelist shared their views and experiences regarding online education for engineering students. They also discussed the methodology adopted for online education and how specific critical issues were handled by their respective organizations.

About one hundred and fifteen participants from various higher educational institutes and industries across the sultanate took an active part in open discussions relating to their specializations and a session on  “Imparting Practical Engineering Skills Post COVID: Challenges and Solutions”.   The discussion focused on the notion of identifying practical skills which need to be revisited, when students return to campus. Alternative tools, which will be instrumental in the mode of blended education in engineering, were also explored in the parallel sessions. The parallel sessions were moderated by Mr. Praveen Kumar, HoS Civil Engineering, Mr. B. Kalyan Kumar, HoS - Electrical Engineering and Mr. Jamal Aslam, HoS -Mechanical Engineering. The discussion and interactions were found to be very useful and were appreciated by the attendees at the event.

The event started with a promotional video and tour of the facilities available at the Engineering Department, which was prepared by the Engineering Student Club (ESC) under the guidance of Mr. Yousuf Salim Al Alawi, coordinator of ESC.  A video about the achievements of students and staff was also prepared by the ESS, assisted by Mr. Hud Khalifa Al Saadi, coordinator of the Student Support Services Committee of the Engineering Department. Mr. Haitham Al Shehhi, Multimedia and Marketing coordinator for the Engineering Department managed the preparation process of the event with the assistance of ETC. Ms. Bayan Talib Al Hosni,  student of Electrical Engineering hosted the program. Mr. Murali Krishna Boddu managed the technical aspects of the MS Teams meeting . Mr. Arun Gopinath, Coordinator of QA Committee  for the Engineering Department presented a summary of the discussions and concluding remarks.The event closed with the vote of thanks by Mr. Mahesh Aphale, Coordinator of STEP 2021 who is also the coordinator of Industry and Community Engagement of Engineering Department.

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